Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hotlanta Fashion Confessions

I don't mean to insult anyone's intelligence by telling you this, but Atlanta is frickin HOT in the summer. The last two weeks, the benevolent coke sign that watches over our city has been reminding us all of the fact, displaying temperatures in the 90's for most of the day! (FYI all you celsius users, 94 degrees fahrenheit = 34.5 degrees celsius! Ca alors!)

It's hard to believe that I'm the same girl who was bemoaning the winds of winter and anticipating dresses and sandals. Ha! I called that winter! How foolish I was when I was four months younger. I didn't appreciate the variety dressing for coldness offers one, and now I am reduced to a very bland summer uniform for the sake of my own survival. 

My trusty denim shorts, sunglasses, the most breathable shoes possible, and of course my summer skin care: Sunscreen and water!

I haven't had the energy to blog lately because I know my torn up denim shorts are nothing to write home about. Then there's the universally known fact that southerners become slovenly and slow paced in the summer and can only drink lemonade and sit on front porches. And while I'm coming up with excuses for my fashion frumpiness, the other reason is that I have an active day job that requires a t-shirt and dealing with dirty outdoorsy stuff like tents... today I had to scrub mud off of caving helmets and head lamps. I never cease to be amazed by the other Atlanta fashion bloggers who stay cute year round! (Asian Cajuns, Liebemarlene...)

They inspire me to keep it cute-- rain or intense shine. So to help myself and anyone else living in a humid furnace, I decided to use my lifetime of experience living in Atlanta to compile a few tips for coping with fashion and heat. 

1. I know I sound like your mom, but I am serious-- Wear your sunscreen, fools! If you love having the smooth taut skin of a 20-something, then you should try and make it last. I'm all for granny fashion, but we don't want to be mistaken for actual grannies before our time. If you're like me and not lucky enough to have that natural, olive complexion, then just try to convince yourself that pale is beautiful. Think of it as porcelain or cream and honey or whatever inspires you to put on sunscreen.

"What are you looking at? I'm only 30! Damn those hours in the tanning bed..."

2. Go simple. Accept the fact that you cannot wear adorable layers of sweater vests and cardigans or even socks. Belts suck too, as do fabulous but heavy statement pieces of jewelry. That's why I still love the romper! I try not to let it bug me that it is such a trend-- sometimes I live under the common delusion that I am original and get posessive over my favorite fashion statements. But then I remind myself of the collective unconscious, have some fun looking at expensive adorable rompers online, and before I know it I'm happy to be skipping along in mine. I like this vintage black 70's/80's one that I got at Value Village; It's sleeveless, somewhat loose, and just one piece to worry about slipping on and off! It's only flaw is being black polyester.

See the little face in the door? That is my astronomer's cat, Action Kitty.

3. Once upon a time, I thought there to be only three basic types of sandals: the flip flop, the birkenstock, and the ugly thick strapped mom sandal. How happy I am to be proved wrong! This summer, because layers are not an option and heavy jewelry just weighs me down, I've turned to my shoes as a form of bling! I absolutely love these strappy sandals I got at Festivity, a lovely and not-too-expensive boutique in Virginia Highlands. They're like jewelry on my feet! With perfect ventilation! I wore them all over the place in China. Not to mention I was pretty tickled to see that Rebecca of the Clothes Horse has the same pair in purple :~)

4. I know a lot of people may disagree with me on this one, maybe even chastise me for advising people to do something that will result in saggy boobs, but I say: forget the bra! It's too damn hot and the last thing we want is to experience the rain forrest climate that only two boobs constricted in padding and wire understand. I usually just wear an undershirt to keep things under control or a light-weight more sportsy bra. Cotton is good, padding is bad. And this  might be a personal thing, but I think wire sucks. Who needs those little indents left on their ribs? That is not a sign of comfort. Perhaps this is all my tomboy roots showing. And keep in mind this only applies to the smaller chested of us. You well endowed ladies are on your own, but I don't want to hear it! At least you have cleavage! 
5. If you really want to stay cool, air circulation is key. Fitted little shirts that hug your frame may look cute enough, but they do nothing for ventilation. That's why I have been reaching over and over again for my loose flowy cotton tops that come away from the body. There's nothing like a good breeze coming your way in Atlanta summer, so don't let your shirt be the reason you miss it! I got this purple one in Louisville. I've also been wearing the middle one I got from Violet Folklore on Etsy. And if I didn't just buy something from her last week, I would totally be bidding on this vintage 70's smock in Liebemarlene's Ebay auction! I hope she won't mind me using the picture.
(liebemarlene image stolen from ebay)

Anyone else have ways you stay comfortable and chic in crazy heat?

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